Posted by: Sarah Stokes | March 11, 2011

What a great title for my opening book review!

It's a Book

It’s a Book

Lane Smith, London: Macmillan Children’s Books, hb. 978-0-230-75313-6, £10.99, 2011, 30pp.

This sensational picture book provides a contemporary commentary on the tensions between traditional reading behaviours and the trappings of modern technology. Jackass is insistent in his interrogation of Monkey that there must be more to the book he is reading than just something to be held and looked at. His references to texting, blogging, passwords and tweeting suggest that he is a creature of the modern world, with no understanding of how a book can grab a reader’s attention without the need for constant multi-sensory stimulation.

Only when Monkey thrusts the book into his hands, does he actually understand what all the fuss is about.

The subtle tones and simple lines of the illustrations are perfectly matched with the sparse written text, and allow the reader plenty of visual space in which to reflect on the narrative ideas. Smith’s rendition of a passage from ‘Treasure Island’ as a text message is particularly inspiring and evidence of his quirky genius as a picture book creator.

A highly entertaining book for both young and older readers to enjoy.

HT to Macmillan for cover image.


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